July 13, 2016

Wednesday Nibbles - Summer Vacation Edition

The weeklong summer vacation is over. It's actually been over since Sunday afternoon, but you know, needed a few days of recovery before sharing something on the blog.

Our trip from Mt. Rushmore to Yellowstone to Grand Teton/Jackson to Salt Lake City was not a fishing trip, so if you read this blog purely for the fishing expertise (ha!), feel free to click off now. However here's a quick week in review, via captioned photos...

Day 1 & 2: Rapid City, SD / Crazy Horse / Mount Rushmore

Wheels down in Rapid City, and there was quite a storm on the horizon to greet us!

The hotel had a small lake out front, this was the only fishing I'd do on the trip.
Bass put up a good fight though.

The bus. Home away from home for a week

Didn't know what to expect from Crazy Horse.
They've evidently been blasting and carving since the late 1940s.
It's quite the sight, much, much bigger than Mt. Rushmore.
Maybe I can get back in a few decades to check the progress.

Down the road about 20 minutes from Crazy Horse, there's a spot on the highway where you can stop and see Washington's profile peer from the side of the mountain with no other presidents (or sign of the park) in sight. It's cool, but kind of eerie at the same time.

I was pleasantly surprised by Mt. Rushmore. Figured you just went and stared at the side of a mountain. Instead, there's a whole complex with walking trails, museums, etc...
Could have spent the whole day there if we had the time.

Day 3: Repositioning to Cody, WY

Day 3 was pretty much a waste, we were in the bus pretty much all day as we moved from Rapid City, SD to Cody, WY. Did catch this "wild" pic of the girls in the Wyoming visitor's center.

We drove by Devil's Tower...

Stopped for lunch in Sheridan, WY...

Drove through the Bighorn mountains...

Before ending up in Cody for the night - home of Buffalo Bill, and never-ending cowboy-kitsch

Day 4 & 5: Yellowstone

The first day was kind of rainy, but we did see a lot of wildlife.  Bison, bear, coyote, elk, & deer

And some really cool old park buses

Elk can walk on the travertine

But we stuck to the boardwalk to take selfies in front of it

The following day's weather was much better.
All of the thermal features were amazing

As were the falls in the canyon

The photo doesn't do this one justice!

Wouldn't want to swim in that hot tub

Gotta take a picture of Old Faithful, right?

More pools

Standing on top of the hill looking down at the river surrounded by geysers was breathtaking.
Two days were not even close to being enough to sample Yellowstone's wonders 

Day 6: Grand Teton / Jackson, WY

On Friday we headed South from Yellowstone down Rockefeller Parkway through Grand Teton National Park

We stopped several times along the way - there were so many scenic views

I mean come on, is this for real?

The highlight was a lakeside picnic lunch

I'm not a holy man, but the view out of this roadside church window was amazing

Once we reached Jackson, we took a ski lift up to the top of the mountain overlooking town

And then descended to take in the Cowboy meets Hippie vibe

Watched a street performance (don't worry, the good guys won)

And washed the day down right

Day 7: Repositioning to Salt Lake City

The last real day took us to Salt Lake City via Logan Canyon

Lilly approved of the scenery

I approved of lunch. If you're ever in Logan, UT, Angie's is amazing.

Our trip ended with a tour of Temple Square

With beautiful architecture

But no Tabernacle Choir, (they were on the road).

And after that, a night of sleep, then home to Florida the next morning.

Our vacation went so quickly, but it was certainly a memorable one. I feel like I shared so many pictures above, but I took TONS more. So many neat things to see and experience.

As for the bus tour aspect, I'm not certain I'd do a bus tour again, as I felt that while we saw a lot of incredible things, we really didn't get to spend enough time at any one particular place to really enjoy them. We kind of figured that was going to be the case heading in; it was sort of like when you go on a cruise ship and visit several ports of call, but spend a lot of time "at sea."

It was more a quick sampling of some magical Western sights, many of which I know we'll head back to in the not too distant future. K.C. is already scoping out a return to Jackson & the Tetons, and I just saw so much beautiful water out the bus window that was screaming to be fished!


  1. Great trip. The wife and i were in Jackson Hole over the weekend. Checked out Jenny Lake and the Tetons then drove further south in Bedford visiting family. Introduced a family member to Tenkara and now he is buying a setup. He caught his first Snake River cutt on it. We were fishing a small creek named Willow. Fished the Salt also. I caught several more on Monday.

    1. Awesome! Sounds like you had a great weekend. I really wish I had time to fish the area. I'll get back though, that much is for certain.

  2. I'm glad you had fun in my backyard!

    1. If I had known your backyard was so pretty, I'd have trespassed earlier!

  3. Whirlwind tour for sure. Any close encounters at Devil's Tower? Maybe Tenkara Sasquatch? Maybe alien's bringing back Richard Dreyfuss?

    1. It was funny, pretty much every person on the bus mentioned Close Encounters as we drove closer. Lilly had no clue what they were talking about...

  4. Too bad the Mormon Tabernacle choir wasn't there for you. They often put on a mini-show at their Thursday evening practices. Great pics of the west.... you even caught the main flexure of the Shell Canyon monocline in your pic of the Bighorn Mtns.

    1. Didn't expect them to be there, so at least I didn't leave disappointed. The Bighorns were beautiful. I had to Google what you were talking about, so clearly the inclusion in my photo was purely accidental. :)

  5. Great trip and great pictures Mike. Everyone should make that trip at least once...twice if you've got a fly rod along.

    1. Yes. My next trip out will involve MUCH fishing.

  6. Michael, thanks for sharing all of your photos and thoughts. What a great trip! You know what, I have lived out here my whole life other than my time in the service during Viet Nam era. Many of us take it for granted any more........... What a shame! Really nice to see and read the view from some folks who were here for the first time.

    1. The West is beautiful Mel. I've been to many of the states before, but for business, not pleasure or recreation, so no time to really take things in from a tourist perspective. I love the states in and around the Rocky Mountains, everything is just so BIG, on such a grand scale.

  7. Wow Mike you talk about a wonderful vacation.
    Beautiful places...."See America First"